Search:  

 Blog     e-Newsletter       Resource Library      Directories      Webinars
AFCEA logo
 

SIGNAL Blogs

From the Front Lines

June 25, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Tomorrow, June 26, 2008, Move America Forward is putting on an 8-hour telethon in support of the troops, with the goal of collecting at least $500,000 in sponsorships for "the largest single shipment of care packages in U.S. history." The program, "From the Front Lines," will be available on the web at www.HotAir.com or via UStreamTV.

Biometric ID Installation in Canadian Airports

June 23, 2008
By Katie Packard

The Canadian Air Transport Authority (CATSA) is installing new fingerprint and iris biometric technology in 29 airports to verify employee identifications. The new system replaces the existing similar application in the Restricted Area Identification Card (RAIC) system, already in use.

Singapore Snags Sniper ATPs

June 23, 2008
By Katie Packard

The Republic of Singapore Air Force is acquiring Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) for the country's F-16 Block 52 aircraft. As part of the purchase agreement, the nation will receive integration, spares, support equipment and integrated logistics support to expand the Air Force's fleet of Sniper ATPs across its F-15 and F-16 aircraft.

Mattis: Irregular Warfare Is Here to Stay

June 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Echoing the sentiments of many of the speakers and panelists during the conference, Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, commander, JFCOM and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, wrapped up the 2008 Joint Warfighting conference by reiterating that the war the U.S. and its allies are now fighting will not end quickly or soon.

How Can Industry Introduce Innovative Technologies to Warfighters Faster?

June 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The snail's pace at which capabilities are moving into current operations is a frustration for both military and industry leaders, and members of the final panel of the Joint Warfighting Conference agreed that lessons can be learned from the commercial sector. From outlining the requirements faster and more succinctly to having the courage to break the rules to meet needs faster, deep changes are needed from the Halls of Congress to the commanders in the field, they said.

Gen. Corley Invites Conversation on Joint Cooperation

June 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Breaking with tradition and to a rousing round of applause, Gen. John D. Corley, USAF, commander, Air Combat Command and Air Component Commander, JFCOM, opened his presentation with the announcement that he would not be using PowerPoint slides to complement his speech. Instead, he invited the audience to have "a bit of conversation, a bit of a chat" about how the Air Force can help the services achieve dominance in the 21st century.

The 21st Century Warrior: What Does He or She Need to Be?

June 18, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Warfighters in the future will need a mix of old-fashioned values and 21st-century knowledge of high technology, members of Wednesday's final panel agreed. All agreed that the current force is filled with dedicated young people who have chosen to serve even under trying circumstances. Tomorrow's warfighter will possess coordinated skills that enable them to fight in irregular warfare, Cmdr. William E. Noel, USN, commanding officer, Explosive Ordnance Devices Test and Evaluation Unit Two and former deputy commander, Task Force Troy, Baghdad, said.

How Do We Recruit, Train and Retain the Right People for the Future Force?

June 18, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

This afternoon, panelists discussing challenges the military is facing today in recruiting, training and retaining personnel agreed that parents are playing a larger role in young people's decision to join the military services. Many recruiters today find themselves explaining the benefits the armed forces offer ot only to 17- to 24-year-olds but also to their parents as well. In addition, despite reports that the military has lowered its standards for recruits, many of the panelists contended that this is not the case.

Metz: IEDs Are Strategic Weapons

June 18, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

If there was one message that Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, USA, director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, wanted the full-to-capacity luncheon audience to remember, it was this: The IED is a strategic weapon and it has to be dealt with as a strategic weapon. While most of the public sees it as a tactical device, its goal is to wear down the will to fight, he stated.

What Challenges Does the Future Force Face?

June 18, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Attempting to look into a crystal ball to determine the challenges future joint forces will face, Wednesday morning's panelists discussed changing threats, changing enemies and the ways the joint force will have to change to address them. One major change has been the U.S. shift from supremacy in the battlefield and national security to the quest for dominance in these areas. While supremacy is designed, dominance may be the best we can achieve and will be enough, the panelists agreed.

Lt. Gen. Valcourt: Training and Recruitment Are Key

June 18, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The first speaker today at the Joint Warfighting Conference shared insights with another packed crowd. Lt. Gen. David P. Valcourt, USA, deputy commanding general and chief of staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, talked about why the U.S. needs to become land dominant in warfighting once again. To do so will require a change in training. This already is going on as the land forces become trained not only in warfare but also in how to handle stability operations. This requires education about languages as well as cultures, the general stated.

How Can We Fix the Defense Acquisition Process?

June 18, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The Honorable Jacques S. Gansler, former undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, opened the afternoon panel by identifying what he perceives as the problems facing the military's acquisition community. The top two identifiable problems, he said, were that IT systems cost too much and the acquisition process takes too long. A third issue is that the U.S. military is not what he considers "world class" in terms of logistics support. He complimented current military leadership for admitting that the services are buying last-century systems when it should be looking at systems 21st century missions.

Gansler also said that he believes the military will be facing a fiscal crisis during the next few years. "I would project a slight decline in the top number next year. How are we going to be able to solve that problem as the budgets shrink, as the supplementals disappear? That's the dilemma that I see happening," he said.

"Where do we start to fix this system?" Gansler asked. First, the military must think in terms of systems for requirements-joint and multinational. "We are not organized to do that. We are platform-oriented still, and it's still a service-oriented platform." The military must not only request but demand and implement spiral development, he added, saying that many in the commercial sector do not want to do business with the military because of all of its requirements.

Many panelists agreed that information technology itself may offer the solution to the acquisition problems the military faces. It can be used to introduce efficiencies into the process as well as document best practices from industry that can help the military address its key issues.

Listen to the panel session here (mp3 link):

Adm. Stavridis: Think, Read, Write and Publish

June 17, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN, commander, U.S. Southern Command, stepped away from the traditional IT conference speech after lunch today by talking about the need for everyone to think, read, write and publish. While it may be necessary during the 21st century to launch Tomahawk missiles, Adm. Stavridis proposed that it will be just as important for members of the military to launch some ideas.

How Do the Services Ensure They Are Dominant - Relevant - Ready in the Joint Domain?

June 17, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Members of the first panel of the morning presented their own service views about dominance, relevance and readiness in the joint domain. Several common themes emerged as areas that are challenging to each of the armed forces as well as the Coast Guard. All of the military leaders agreed that the level of complexity has increased significantly since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and operations began in the Global War on Terrorism.

DOD Capabilities for the 21st Century: Dominant - Relevant - Ready?

June 17, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Speaking to a packed room at the opening of the Joint Warfighting conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Lt. Gen. John R. Wood, USA, deputy commander, JFCOM, pointed out that the question posed by this conference is apropos. While the U.S. military has made much progress in bringing the joint force together, it is now time to take a serious look at how well the services are doing in this area.

Webinar July 16: Securing a Highly Available Infrastructure

June 14, 2008
By H. Mosher

SIGNAL continues its webinar series on July 16, 2008, 12 noon ET, with Securing a Highly Available Infrastructure. The webinar will feature William F. Clark, VP, Technical Sales and Public Sector CTO, CA, Inc., discussing how you build and operate a secure, federated, authenticated, connected world and still have a life? DoD IT organizations face an increasingly complex set of challenges around information sharing, security, SLAs, industry standards and mandates.

This Webinar will address two important and intertwined concepts:

1. Enabling secure access to critical applications, information, and services across disparate enterprises.
2. Providing a solid foundation for reliable federation and information exchange.

You'll hear about best practices and real-world examples from a federation expert and IT specialist who has 30 years of experience across multiple government and business sectors.

For more information and to register, click here.

Direct Hit Quotes for June

June 9, 2008
By H. Mosher

From June's SIGNAL Today, some interesting quotes from the June issue of SIGNAL Magazine.

"Going through one wall is not that bad, but a building is basically an RF hall of mirrors. You've got signals bouncing all over the place." - Dr. Edward J. Baranoski, Visibuilding program manager,
in Sensor Technology Opens New Horizons

"The Web is worse than the wild, wild West in terms of what's out there. At the rate things are going, we may lose the ability to have a networked world unless we develop tools for much better security."- Dave Bishop, chief technology officer and chief operating officer of LGS Innovations, in Innovators Imagine Communications Far Down the Road

"We truly see different types of attacks when we're doing our research. Sometimes we're really impressed with the sophistication that just indicates the talent on the other side."- Yuval Ben-Itzak, chief technology officer, Finjan Incorporated, in Web 2 the Danger Zone

Also from SIGNAL Today this month, our featured image of the month:

Joint tactics training exercise

U.S. Marine Maj. John Naylor, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joe Dibenepetto and U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Mark Cain work on sending data links of radar information to U.S. aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

CharityWorks Partners With Fisher House

June 6, 2008
By Rita Boland

CharityWorks, an organization in the Washington, D.C., area that fundraises for nonprofits, has partnered with Fisher House to raise money for the construction of the new Fisher House at the Washington, D.C., Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The house will have 16,000 square feet and 21 guest suites. The goal is to raise $2 million by the end of September. The selection of Fisher House as this year's charity marks the first time a partner was unanimously selected by the advisory board and membership of CharityWorks. The main fundraising event will be the CharityWorks Dream Ball on September 27 at the National Building Museum. Other funds come from personal and corporate donations. CharityWorks keeps administrative costs to a minimum, and 100 percent of all online donations go to the partner nonprofit. Computer Sciences Corporation is the host sponsor this year, and the chief executive officer of ManTech International and his wife are leading the fundraising campaign. Both organizations have made major contributions, have launched employee giving campaigns and are reaching out to industry peers. Other Honor Guard donors (those who pledge more than $100,000) include BAE Systems, Bearing Point, L-3 Communications, Fisher Brothers, Freddie Mac and Freddie Mac Foundation. CharityWorks also is hosting an invitation-only Housewarming Party for the new Fisher House at the Fisher Houses at Bethesda Naval Station Hospital in an effort to gather items needed for inside the facility. In addition, CharityWorks will have Booth 631 at the AFCEA Joint Warfighting Conference to raise awareness of the campaign for Fisher House and to invite participants to learn more about how they can support the effort.

IBM Research

June 10, 2008
By H. Mosher

A longtime leader in computer and electronics research, IBM is committed to furthering nanotechnology research. The goal of the company's work is to develop new atomic and molecular-scale structures and devices to enhance information technologies. The IBM home page offers links highlighting a number of projects such as bionanotechnology, materials characterization and tools, nanoelectronics, nanomaterials and self-assembly, nanomechanics, and quantum coherent systems. Two examples of the firm's research are self-organizing nanocrystals that can be formed into thin-films and organic thin-film transistors that can be used in applications such as electronic paper, print circuitry and displays.

http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research.nsf/pages/r.nanotech.html

National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)

June 9, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The NNI was launched in 2001 to coordinate the U.S. federal government's nanotechnology research and development. Its mission is to provide a guiding vision for the long term opportunities and benefits of nanotechnology and to serve as a center for communication, cooperation and collaboration between all the participating government agencies. The NNI's home page provides information about federal advisory groups such as the National Science and Technology Council and its Nanoscale Science Engineering and Technology subcommittee. Visitors can download the NNI's fiscal year 2009 budget documents and a variety of papers, brochures and reports from the initiative's home page. The site also provides a list of NNI research centers such as the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Visit the site at www.nano.gov.

Pages

Subscribe to SIGNAL Blogs